January 31, 2002

We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have it, we’d lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.” says Rick (H Bogart) to Ilsa (I Bergman) in the final moments of “Casablanca”.

Adrian’s last proper day today. I say proper because, looking back, he actually left a while ago. On the train back from Hatfield way back in the summer in actual fact. When we arrived at Kings Cross I was told that it was nothing personal.

The presentation was a moving, if not fleeting, few moments. Biggest turnout for such a thing that I have ever seen. Leaves me wondering whether I would, in my own time, enjoy such an emotional sending off. It felt like the last day at Junior school. It was 1979 - and I cried. Is that unusual?

Happy Days! Those carefree days of 1979!

Happy Days! (remembered from 1979)

End of an era. At least that’s how he made it feel. In some ways I will miss him. In others I will not. The fact that it will be the elevated section of the A4 in Hammersmith that sets us apart professionally is another reason why he won’t have really left. I’m sure Bar38 will be graced by our converged presence at some point. Will it be coincidence or fate?

Bar 38 - a bar with a spectacular view of Hammersmith Broadway

Bar 38 - a bar with a spectacular view of Hammersmith Broadway

Nothing changes I suppose.

Last night’s number-crunching denied me attendance at the Genie (we’re all sick of “txt”-ing book-club). Pete walked around to my desk to say that he missed me - and handed me a paperback of the current agenda-item: “Oranges are not the Only Fruit” by Jeanette Winterson. Now - I haven’t read any reviews of this book before - but when I opened the book at a random page - somewhere about half-way through, I was taken by two things:
1. The font: a type-face that I haven’t seen in a book before. Quite readable.
2. The title of the chapter was “Exodus” - which flashes uninspiring thoughts about this being somewhat biblical.

There is an acknowledgement on the back by Gore Vidal: “The most interesting young writer I have read”. I am hopeful.

Posted by jag at 07:03 PM | Comments (2)
January 30, 2002
Tax Returned

All of a sudden I saw Sheriff John Brown aiming to shoot me down” from “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley.

Tonight’s Tax Return night. Dead right. For many months I have known that it would come to this. Impending fines and all that. How will I get myself out of this one? Well - the lucky fucker that I am - I did it.

Inland Revenue tries to be cool

FBI sounds like something cool and subversive. Tonight though, it’s a saviour: File By Internet; how on earth can a government be so progressive? And then I reminded myself that when it comes to money - even the “cool” is about making you part with it. Regardless, there is a certain “coolness” about the Inland Revenue; it’s FBI - and it makes the taxman appear cool.

TaxCalc did the hard work and BillPayment did the dirty work. I’m feeling good - like I must be the most arrogant taxpayer in the country - leaving it all to the last possible minute and then whistling through it like a breeze. This is probably not what the taxman intended - and this is what makes it feel so good. Serves him right for trying to be cool.

Posted by jag at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)
January 29, 2002
Open Padlock

Solicitor’s meeting never happened. Got summoned to see a very different kind of solicitor instead. Long story which I won’t go into …

I notice that firms of solicitors are trying to appear trendy these days.

Picked up a small baggage padlock today from the floor in the platform at Ham tube. I can only guess it must’ve fallen from the zip or handle of a traveller’s holdall. It was in the unlocked position. Now it’s in my coat pocket. I don’t have the key - and I am really tempted to snap it shut - but I can’t bring myself to doing so. Without the key the consequence would be irreversible. And herein lies the temptation. I don’t know how long I can go around with this padlock in my pocket in its open state. I feel like I should snap it shut - but only in celebration of something. Anything. However, I can’t think of anything to mark the moment. I will keep it like that until the temptation becomes too great to bear. And then - when I finally snap it shut - I will cast it away - somewhere memorable - in memory of something that leaves me with that “no-turning back” feeling.

Tirades at one-o-clock in the morning. I feel like am taking too many risks these days. It’s only in the mornings when I re-read the emails that I sent the night before do I feel that it wasn’t so bad after all. Still - I can’t help feeling guilty.

My grammaw and your grammaw
Were sittin’ by the bayou
My grammaw tole yo gramma
I’m gonna set you flag on fiyo
Talk about hey now, hey now
Iko iko anday
Jockomo feena andan day
Jockomo feena-hay.

from “Iko, Ikoby” The Dixie Cups

Posted by jag at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)
January 28, 2002
"Wake up! Time to die!"

… so says Leon to Deckard in Ridley Scott’s “Bladerunner” - just before he is about to kill him.

Unpublished Bladerunner poster

Sent round Which.Online’s website of the week to some friends in the office today. Boy I wish I hadn’t. Should’ve known that the The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement might not go down well with some folk who don’t share my sense of humour. I took the negative feedback quite badly. I will never send round URLs by email again. I got that “wish I could just die” feeling. And worse still - I am forbidden to say why. Banished. It’s just too sensiitve. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

Blog today, solicitor tomorrow. Perhaps they have something in common? They both say things you don’t like for a start. The amount of money you pay for the privelidge (did I spell that right?) sets them quite apart though. Easyspace are the primary benefactors of my purchases of real-estate in the virtual world - but it seems the solicitor is the primary benefactor of my purchases of real-estate in the real world - and everything else besides. For the amount I have to pay in the name of “Stamp Duty” and “Solicitors Fees” I could host blogs for every day, of every year, in the life of every living person or animal on the Isle of White. Including dogs, cats and hamsters.

The timber-frame is worrying me though. As is the tree with a preservation-order just outside the front. What will happen in the summer when the leaves sprout and the flowers bloom? What would happen if there was a fire? My mind is running action-replays of movies with itself; fire spreading wildly - tearing down every wall on the inside. The bough of a tree smashing its knarled ends into the kids playroom as they both blissfully play with paints and lego. Depressingly The Smiths-esque - (I can be miserable bastard sometimes - and The Smiths depresses me something rotten.) But I’m sure my solicitor will put me at ease. Her name is Karin. That’s a nice name for a solicitor. With a name like that I will probably forget the grotesque amount of money I’m paying her - for shuffling a few bits of paper around. To be fair - she does reply to my emails. Which is a giant leap forward for such an ancient and backward profession.

The Smiths - utterly depressing

An utterly depressing band

later …

There is art in noise. I am convinced of it! I write this with firm conviction as the tube train slows down on the dark, dismal overground underground - somewhere between Hammersmith and Acton Town. The tempo of the rattle of wheel on track - reduced in much the same way as James Brown’s “funky drummer” beat - slowed by the producer’s imagination on one of the album tracks of George Michael’s “Listen Without Prejudice”. Can’t remember which song. But the music is vivid. Because the art of noise is in its association …

The sign at the top of the crane shouts loudly: “enjoy-work.com!” as the train crawls slowly past Chiswick Park. “Yeah right!” is what everyone on the train is saying - without actually saying it of course. Because this is the tube you see: on the tube you can say whatever you like - and whatever you think - so long as you don’t actually say it! It’s an unwritten rule that everyone observes. This is why they say that “silence is deafening”.

I am now urged to re-read London Fields by Martin Amis. Last read in 1990. Martin Amis and George’s “Listen Without Prejudice” - a fatal combination of music, lyrics and words that had a profound effect on me at the time.
Nicola Six: why?

Anyway - I felt real sorry for the response I gave to Rubi today. She appealed to our ever-present sense of charity - and I led a “no thanks” reaction that snowballed into more “no thanks - I’m busy” from everyone else. Not that this will bother her in the least - because this is Rubi: the zany red-head from East Anglia - born into a Sikh family in Brum - a true princess! Married to an Irishman - and living life to the full. Developing web-pages and dabbling with Flash - jumping out of aeroplanes and keeping fit by climbing mountains in the north of England! I like Rubi. Lots. She tells it like it is. Like a spade would call a spade. That’s very West Brom. A true Brummie lass. An export of fine Brummi-ness to East Anglia and London. Such is Rubi.

“Yoh can tek the kid out a Brum, but yoh’ll never tek Brum out a the kid.” says Dr.Carl Chinn

Posted by jag at 07:11 PM | Comments (3)

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